Social Solutions to Poverty:
America's Struggle to Build a Just Society
A book by Scott Myers-Lipton


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End Poverty in California (EPIC)




Upton Sinclair, the writer and socialist, ran for governor of California on the Democratic ticket. His 1934 platform was entitled “End Poverty in California” (EPIC), and its goal was to turn over factories and agricultural land laying fallow to workers to be run as cooperatives. Sinclair argued that traditional relief operations financially benefited political machines rather than the poor. He felt that farm and industrial cooperatives—voluntary, democratic, and jointly owned enterprises created to meet economic and social needs—were the most effective way to employ more than 750,000 unemployed and underemployed Californians. Proponents of EPIC called for “public welfare against private greed” and hoped to build a new society that ended mass poverty through peaceful and orderly methods. Sinclair believed that his approach was not radical, but based in the American values of self-reliance, initiative, and equality. 

Myers-Lipton, p. 165

(Excerpted from “Social Solutions to Poverty” © Paradigm Publishers 2006)



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